I am so excited about our upcoming Disney Make a Wish trip and I am sure my friends are tired of hearing about it so I thought I could share my excitement with you! Let me introduce you to my family. My very dear sweet husband and I have two awesome kids. Madison who just turned 11 and is a very talented competitive cheerleader and Hamilton (our Wish Kid) who is 4 years old and loves airplanes so much that if you ever meet him he will explain everything you ever wanted to know about planes, lift, thrust, and stall! When our wish volunteers came to talk to Hamilton about his wish it went something like this.....Carol (wish lady): Hey Hamilton if you could have anything in the world what would you want your wish to be?....Hamilton: Well I would like a fighter jet that spits out green smoke that fires missiles and makes this noise mmmmmmmmmzzzzzz! Carol: (looking at Ham in disbelief then looks down at her paperwork while saying Ok then one trip to Disney! (I warned her ahead of time that he would probably ask for a real fighter jet so if Make a Wish isn't handing out those then his second choice would be Disney) How did we end up here? Last year moved from Charlotte NC to Pittsburgh. My husband works for the airlines and had been commuting to and from and to give him a break we decided to move to Pit for a few years. We moved here in July and by Jan I had had enough! I guess my blood was Carolina thin and it is coooold up here. Last winter was the worst winter in something like 30 years and it was our first winter here. We couldn't get out of here soon enough, we just had to decide with school when was the best time to leave. The end of January was a Sunday and I was with the kids at Chuck E Cheese. They had a ball. Hamilton and Madison ate so much pizza and played games and didn't want to leave. About 3am Hamilton began to moan in his sleep. We asked what was wrong and he said his stomach hurt. I figured he was constipated from all that pizza. His discomfort never let up and by around 5am he still had the pain and developed a fever. Now I'm thinking he has some kind of wicked infection. My husband decided we needed to take him to see the doctor. It was zoo day at his school and since it was 7am when we took him to the doctor I figured he would get antibiotics and be at school in time to see the animals. His regular doctor had no openings so we ended up at Children's ER. By this time he is still in pain and since he never complains it seemed pretty serious. The resident came in poked around his belly and said he thought he was constipated. I looked at him and said no, this is not constipation. I've seen constipation and this is not it. He called in his attending, she felt his belly once on the left once on the right and said his liver and spleen are very swollen. We were floored. They wanted to do blood work. The nurse came in and said he was very, very anemic. We once again were floored. Remember Chuck E Cheese? Running around like crazy, no bruising, no bleeding, noooo fatigue, not even any colds. He was so healthy. But ok that's cool. We will get our prescription of iron pills, get signed out, and still make zoo day. Nurse comes back in and says ah, Hamilton's blood work 'looks funny' and we are calling oncology to come down and talk to you! Husband says to me oncology? Isn't that the cancer doctor?! There must be a mistake we are here for the infection with a side of anemia! We were, you guessed it, floored. Oncology comes down and says I'm not sure but it could be an infection. Sometime it's easy to tell if it's an infection and sometimes like in Ham's case we can wait and see if it clears up or we can do a bone marrow aspirate (what? what is she talking about?) and that will tell us for sure but we think your son may have leukemia. (yep floored) If we wait and see if this is a virus and it is cancer (did she say cancer?) we lose valuable treatment time so what would you like to do? It all happened so fast. Of course we said lets do the test. We were admitted that Monday night and the next morning they did the test. By late afternoon we had a positive diagnosis. Thursday he was in surgery to place his port and they started chemo right after that. By Tuesday afternoon the cancer had spread so fast that he was a different kid. He was in so much pain he couldn't be touched or moved. His nurse left that night came back for her shift the next day and noticed he was in the exact same position as when she left. It was awful to see him look at us for help he just wanted the pain to stop and all the while being so strong. Our quick 'we will make it to zoo day' hospital visit turned into a 2 week stay. Remember we had not lived in Pit long and really didn't know anyone. Family was all out of town and we still had to take care of Madison. My neighbor helped with Madison and the people I met at Ham's preschool, even though they didn't know us well, were awesome. He has 3 more years of chemo treatment to go and we just take it day by day. We feel incredibly blessed to have this trip to look forward to since as you know illness is hard on everyone in the family especially siblings. Thank you for this site. I have learned so much not only about Disney but about human kindness (as you all support each other) and human will and strength and love (as I read about all of you with such challenges somehow still making it and still able and willing to give encouragement to others). I have a few questions that I will pick your brains on later I have talked enough for now! Take care. I hope this pic comes through. This is Madison and Hamilton (before his hair loss which was hard because he is a boy that loooves his hair) when he was first diagnosed. Because the snow was so bad he hadn't seen his sister in a couple of days. This was his first smile in days just seeing his sister.